VSP ups patrols, urges drivers to use patience this Thanksgiving

Virginia News

RICHMOND, Va (WRIC) — If you’re still planning to hit the road for Thanksgiving, so are police. More troopers will be patrolling the roadways to ensure drivers get to their destination safely, until Sunday night.

It’s part of the Operation C.A.R.E initiative — which stands for Crash Awareness and Reduction Effort. This is part of a national program to increase police visibility and traffic enforcement efforts.

“With traffic on the roads increasing and many people anxious to get to their destination, I encourage all Virginians to be patient. Buckle up and take your time,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent.

This year, AAA predicts 1.4 million motorists will travel for Thanksgiving — 11% more than 2020. With that, state police say folks need to pack their patience.

“Your family wants you to arrive safely and in a frame of mind to enjoy all the holiday has to offer,” Settle said. “Making sure you are driving the posted speed limit, driving for conditions and wearing your seatbelt are the best ways to stay safe on the road, so you can enjoy the holiday.”

Over the five-day Thanksgiving period last year, VSP cited 4,930 speeders and 1,706 reckless drivers statewide. Virginia troopers also charged 67 drivers for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol and/or drugs and cited 498 drivers for failing to buckle up themselves and/or juvenile passengers.

In addition, there were 12 traffic fatalities during the 2020 five-day Thanksgiving statistical counting period and eight traffic fatalities during the same time in 2019.

With increased patrols, Virginia State Police also reminds drivers of Virginia’s “Move Over” law, which requires motorists to move over when approaching an emergency vehicle stopped alongside the road. If unable to move over, drivers are required to cautiously pass the emergency vehicle.

The law also applies to workers in vehicles equipped with amber lights.

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